Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Bad weather hampers search for missing Iranian plane

Iranian rescue teams find site, wreckage from plane crash Iran: 'Scattered Bodies' at Aseman Airlines Wreckage Site
Andrew Cummings | 20 February, 2018, 20:21

Aseman Airlines had initially announced that all passengers had been killed, but search and rescue teams have been unable to yet reach the site due to bad weather.

After conflicting reports on fatalities and the location of the crash, officials said rescue teams were still not able to find the wreckage.

According to Mohammad Taghi Tabatabai, Aseman Airlines spokesman, all on board flight EP3704 were killed which include 59 passengers and six crew members taking the figure to 65 as against 66 people earlier reported to be killed in the crash.

However, the sale could be scuppered if US President Donald Trump chooses to reimpose sanctions in the coming months, as he has threatened to do. Flight 3705 from Aseman airlines en route to the southern town of Yasuj from Tehran veered off the radar after 50 minutes of flying just before it reached its destination. However, an aviation Spokesman said it has not been confirmed due to the "bad weather".

Relatives of 66 people who were on board a plane that crashed in central Iran wait for news as rescue workers continued to scour the mountainous region for the second consecutive day to no avail.

The tail of the plane could be seen in the footage.

The United Nations said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres joined world leaders in expressing sorrow over the crash.

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Heavy snow and rain since Sunday have hindered the search around the 14,465-foot (4,409-metre) peak, which is popular with Iranians training for climbs in the Himalayas.

"After searching the area, we learned that unfortunately ... our dear passengers had lost their lives", Tabatabai informed.

The ATR 72-500 twin-engine turboprop was travelling from Tehran to the south-western city of Yasuj. The organization specialized in flights to remote airfields across the country as well as internationally.

Aseman Airlines has had other major crashes.

The plane left Tehran at 8.05 AM local time on Sunday for an internal journey of 560 kilometers according to the airline's official statement.

Iran has complained that sanctions imposed by the United States have jeopardised the safety of its airlines, making it hard to maintain and modernise ageing fleets.

Iran has suffered several aviation accidents in recent years and has an aging aircraft fleet.

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